Growing up in the 1980’s you were blessed with an abundance of great wrestling announcers: Gorilla Monsoon, Jim Ross, Lance Russell, and my all-time favorite, Gordon Solie (to name a few). These men provided the play-by-play soundtrack to whatever particular weekly wrestling program you enjoyed. Their larger than life voices boomed into your living room. They almost felt like part of the family. Times have changed, production has evolved, and we don’t look upon the contemporary play-by-play voices with the admiration of our heroes of yesteryear.
I’d like to point out one exception: Mauro Ranallo. He has the likable charisma that we have been craving for years. Unless you are from Canada or a combat sports fan, most people (like myself) were unfamiliar with his work until recent years. He quickly became revered by fans with his pop-culture one-liners and his trademark “Mama Mia!!!” after an insane high spot on the show. Providing background and important information on the characters you were watching, but not “overselling” the presentation.
Mauro honed his craft for years calling play by play for Strikeforce, New Japan Pro Wrestling, kickboxing, ice hockey, and many others. He was the lead announcer on SmackDown from 2016-17, and then NXT from 2017 to present. Arguably, NXT has been the most popular brand in WWE amongst the “smart marks” and Mauro has helped solidify that standing.
What I enjoy most about Mauro’s commentating is the natural excitement that he brings to the broadcast. There is nothing about his announcing that comes across as scripted or overproduced. He doesn’t talk like he is being fed lines, and his delivery is organic. Although I am fairly new to his work, I hope to enjoy it for many years to come.
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